Ferguson accepts punishment
Barry Ferguson accepts the consequences of his actions after being stripped of the Rangers captaincy.
Last Updated: 03/04/09 9:26pm
Barry Ferguson accepts the consequences of his actions after being stripped of the Rangers captaincy and told he will never play for his country again.
Both Ferguson and Gers goalkeeper Allan McGregor were handed the most severe punishment possible by their Ibrox paymasters, who looked down dimly on their behaviour while away on international duty with Scotland.
Rangers have suspended the pair without pay for the next two weeks, while Ferguson has been forced to relinquish the club's armband.
The duo indulged in a lengthy drinking session at the Scotland team hotel last weekend following a 3-0 defeat to Holland in a World Cup qualifier.
But it was the incident which followed - when they appeared to flick V-signs while on the bench at Hampden on Wednesday night - which prompted Rangers to take action.
Asked if he regrets his actions of the last few days, Ferguson told Rangers TV: "Of course. I'd be a fool not to. I held my hands up on Sunday night and said that I did the wrong thing.
"We all make mistakes and I made a big mistake here and I need to pay the consequences which come from making those mistakes.
"I just need to get on with it now, take what comes and get on with my life.
"I'm bitterly disappointed with the actions they've (Scotland) taken. I always thought it was a privilege to play for my country and especially to captain them but they've come to a decision not to select me in the future.
"That's a decision they've made and there's nothing I can do. What I can say is that it was always an honour to play for my country."
McGregor added: "I can understand how the club is feeling. I'm just deeply sorry and embarrassed by what I've done.
"Obviously I'm very disappointed but I can totally understand it and I accept it.
"I can understand how the club is feeling about the situation. I'm obviously deeply embarrassed by what I've done.
Rangers chief executive Martin Bain said the actions of Ferguson, in particular, were disappointing.
He said: "This football club expects standards, Rangers supporters expect standards and these two players have let us down.
"The events of the last week have not been good for anybody involved - nobody wins out of it.
"We don't condone the behaviour of the two players and our captain in particular.
"Both players are prepared to accept that their actions have not been befitting of Rangers Football Club and have offered their profuse apologies but we have had to take the severest action we can."
The club's stance was backed by the Rangers Supporters Assembly.
RSA president Andy Kerr said: "It is very disappointing that two of our key players have let themselves, the club and all our supporters down by behaving in such an inappropriate manner and the club had no option but to take the action they did."